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EMA officials assess flood damage in homes across St. Joseph County

St. Joseph County Emergency Management teamed up with with the state Response and Recovery Division to assess just how bad the floods impacted local homes.

“We’re probably going to hit close to 100 today easily,” said John Antonucci, Director of St. Joseph County Emergency Management.

Emergency management says as of Saturday afternoon they’ve seen a significant number of houses that received major damage.

“If you have water in your basement that’s probably a $10,000 repair. Those are the types of things that The President is going to look at when he decides if he is going to give us the individual assistance to be able to help homeowners,” said Antonucci.

Homes like Judy Streitmatter’s on Angela Boulevard in South Bend.

“It all has to come out, because they can’t get in here to sanitize the place,” said Judy’s neighbor, Jessica Hughes. Hughes is a professor at Holy Cross College who noticed Judy was struggling, so she gathered some of her student volunteers to help out.

“My family back in Chicago.. we flooded about 3 times in the past maybe 7 years and all those times were just completely devastating. I know stuff like this is just awful to clean up by yourself,” said Mariano Gomez, a volunteer student at Holy Cross College.

Judy, whose husband passed away, says she had three feet of water in her home at one point during the flooding and many of their keepsakes were damaged.

“It started raining this past Tuesday and that little bit of rain started adding to the basement. Hanging on to memories is important, but when they’re wet and soggy and yucky, I would not want to be reading through them anymore. I have to let them go and it’s kind of a spiritual exercise, someone mentioned to me a while back… getting rid of the clutter in our lives,” said Streitmatter.

But she’s thankful that students have stepped up for her.

“The kindness of people and going above and beyond...” Streitmatter.

Emergency Management is working on helping Streitmatter out along with neighbors across St. Joseph County. They say many homeowners have still not called to report flood damage and need you to call starting Monday if you do have damage to your home from flooding. Officials say it is imperative that they get all the info to Governor Holcomb so he can take it to The President to get a presidential declaration here in St. Joseph County. You can reach EMA officials at 574-235-9378.

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